Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Michael Baden
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What was the outside ME's issued cause of death in the Stewart case?

2. How long does the military keep medical records?

3. Where did Humes place the gunshot wound to the head erroneously?

4. What is livor mortis?

5. Why did Baden not do an autopsy on Nelson Rockefeller?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is psychosis with exhaustion, according to Baden?

2. Briefly explain the case of Ann Hart.

3. Summarize Baden's beliefs about what the DA expects an ME to do during autopsy, when issuing a cause of death or other findings.

4. Describe why there was controversy surrounding the death of Elvis.

5. List the three tests used to determine how long someone has been dead, and mention what they are.

6. What are the ways mentioned in Chapter Six to identify a body?

7. Discuss the symptoms of strychnine.

8. Explain how ricin came into fame in 1978.

9. Explain how Baden discovered the age, time of death, and identity of Katherine Howard.

10. Describe why Baden notes the conspiracy theorists' use of the head movement of Kennedy after his shooting leads to unreliable conclusions.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the Mary Beth Tinning case, nine children died before someone thought to question the parents of the children. MEs, hospital staff, neighbors, friends, social services, and others all had the same information, but refused to question the situation.

Part 1.) Explain the circumstances that allowed this tragedy to unfold.

Part 2.) Discuss the SIDS diagnosis, in terms of why it is seldom questioned.

Part 3.) Write a brief opinion statement, noting whether you believe the system is partially responsible for these deaths, and why.

Essay Topic 2

The case of Carl Cappolono is listed as being an almost perfect crime. However, this case had several holes in it that eventually led to Carl's demise. Based on the book, what kinds of mistakes do killers make that eventually come back to haunt them? What do killers assume about poison, and why is this assumption incorrect? How can an ME detect poisons long after they have been administered, according to the tests done in the book? What does this say about the idea that poison killings are killings without a trace?

Essay Topic 3

Explain the case of Paul Fried in detail. What were the original circumstances surrounding Paul's death? What caused further investigation? What role did his wife, Catherine, play? What was their relationship like? Who came forward with information, and what was that information? How was a new cause of death discovered? What was the result? How did the autopsy findings affect this case? What does this say about the importance of a proper autopsy in any case of death?

(see the answer keys)

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